Allegations against staff
ASCL was asked to give oral evidence to the Parliamentary Children, Schools and Families Select Committee on allegations against school staff on 17 June. ASCL Council member Fiona Hammans, head of Banbury School in Oxfordshire, appeared at the evidence session.
In particular, Fiona stressed the need for investigations to be carried out swiftly. She said: "If the local authority is the body that gives the advice, makes the decision and talks about the way forward for the investigation - or not - we want that to be communicated very quickly back to the school. That needs to be done equitably and fairly.
"We have already identified that there is variation across authorities, and that is inevitable. But some authorities automatically go after school staff if an allegation is made, whereas others look at the balance between the allegation and the member of staff's needs and make some kind of measured judgment between the two."
It was made clear to the committee that the pendulum had swung too far in favour of those making the accusations and that, while child safeguarding is important, a balance needs to be struck to protect staff from malicious allegations.
© 2013 Association of School and College Leaders